Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale
Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale have been handed an indefinite ban by the annual Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA).
They have also been stripped off all awards that they won at the 20th edition of the VGMA on May 18 2019.
Charterhouse, organisers of the award ceremony, and the 2019 VGMA board announced the decision at a press conference at the Alisa Hotel in Accra on Thursday.
It said the two artistes breached the code of conduct of the awards scheme, hence the decision to sanction them.
“The board of the 2019 VGMA board deems the actions of Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy to have flouted the terms and conditions of the scheme, brought the event into disrepute and therefore wish to sanction the two,” the board stated on Thursday.
Prior to the announcement of the ban, Shatta Wale took to social media to also announce his decision not to take part in the awards henceforth.
“Upon sober reflections of events in recent times and having made broader consultations, I wish to announce that I will not be part of the Ghana Music Awards scheme going forward. God bless,” he said on Instagram.
But his decision has been criticised and laughed off by some industry players, who believe that the controversial dancehall artiste got wind of VGMA’s ban and quickly released his statement.
Chaos broke out on stage after Stonebwoy was declared the winner of the Reggae/Dancehall Artiste of the Year category during the 2019 VGMA.
Shatta Wale and his Shatta Movement fans rushed on stage uninvited which led to an altercation.
In the process, Stonebwoy pulled a gun on stage in self-defence.
The unfortunate incident has been condemned by many Ghanaians.
Both artistes were arrested on Sunday and granted bail on Monday.
They were also in court on Wednesday over the brawl and are to reappear on June 20.
Shatta Wale is no longer the winner of Highlife Song of the Year for ‘My Level’ and the Reggae/Dancehall Song of the Year for ‘Gringo’ due to the sanctions.
Stonebwoy has also lost the Reggae/Dancehall Artiste of the Year and Best Collaboration of the Year Awards that he won during the event.
The board said the two remaining awards ‒ Most Popular Song of the Year and Artiste of the Year, which were not announced at the 2019 VGMA night due to chaos have been “nullified.”
The late Ebony Reigns, who was adjudged the artiste of the year during last year’s awards, would still hold the award since there is no winner this year.
Interestingly, earlier this week, Ebony’s dad came out to say that the altercation on stage was caused by his daughter’s spirit because he was not invited to represent his daughter at the event.
Some industry players are also of the view that the indefinite ban on Stonebwoy and Shatta is too harsh.
But Theresa Ayoade, CEO of Charterhouse, reportedly revealed that “indefinite ban means pending good behaviour, and it’s possible for them to be accepted back to the VGMA depending on their behaviour in future.
She added that organisers were embarrassed by the brawl between the two artistes.
“Everything was going smoothly till the altercation on stage, and we felt the action they took was selfish and that they forgot the world was watching Ghana.”
By Francis Addo